freud’s resistance to simple pleasures

Works of art exercise a powerful effect on me. I spend a long time before them trying to aprehend them in my own way, i.e. to explain to myself what their effect is due to. Wherever I cannot do this, as for instance with music, I am almost incapable of obtaining any pleasure.

— Freud, in Introduction to ‘The Moses of Michelangelo’

[Freud’s] turning-away, an act of will in the interest of self-defense. The more energetic and violent, the more emotional effects of music appeared undesirable to him. He became more and more convinced that he had to keep his reason unclouded and his emotions in abeyance. Such an avoidance of the emotional effect of melodies can sometimes be seen in people who feel endangered by the intensity of their feelings.

— Theodor Reik, The Haunting Melody

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